If you haven’t noticed the love that the new Animal Crossing on Switch has been getting then I feel like you might be one of the unlucky, or maybe lucky, few.
Gamers all over have taken to living a virtual Island life with animal friends in a time when most places are encouraging you to stay inside just as Spring is starting to hit us with nice weather. With a Pandemic making life extremely difficult for many a cute little game has taken the world by storm.
So how is Animal Crossing New Horizons helping the world in such a tough time?
Animal Crossing is a series that started back in 2001 with the original Animal Crossing game for N64 and GameCube, New Horizons is the fifth installment in the main series which also has three spin offs.
It is a simple concept.
You play a character moving to a town, village, island… Whatever and having to join in the community whether as just a normal villager, the mayor or a resident representative. You are joined in this life by various animal Villagers with their own personalities and have various little quests to do but the main point is to live life with them on a day by day basis.
Every day matches real life time, it gets dark when it is dark for you, villagers go to bed, shops having opening and closing times which means Animal Crossing isn’t so much about binge playing the game but about logging in every day or every few days to see what is new and just hang out. As I said above there are mini quests in each game that give you some purpose but it really is more about just living your life.
It has been a pretty popular game since it arrived onto consoles but Animal Crossing New Horizon just so happened to magically come out at a time when it was needed the most.
Personally I have been in Isolation since just before the game actually came out, I have barely been out of the house in two weeks and Animal Crossing has been one of the best distractions I could hope for.
Animal Crossing’s main purpose is for you to log in every day or so, maybe once or twice, and just chill and that is exactly what most people are doing.
There are so many things you can be doing with your time from retail therapy to fish or bug catching, looking for fossils to donate to the museum or doing random tasks for Nook Miles. In some ways the game is all about making money to pay off constant debt and buying cute things but it never stresses you out. You never feel like you NEED that extension on your house and every task you need to do is so chill that it is enjoyable to work for the random things you want for your house. Trading has become a giant thing with the easy availability of visiting people’s Islands and the social simulation side of the game has blown up so much!
Why you ask?
We’re on lock down so not only are friends and family visiting each other with much more ease but entire communities online and streamers are taking advantage to just hang with people.
My personal favourite Streamers have been streaming the game pretty much daily since it came out and there is nothing more fun then having them open their island or indeed visiting your island. The Streamer I watch more then any other tends to spend at least a hour or so trading with his fans, he doesn’t ask for much and will share the items around with whoever wants them whilst keeping his streams super fun for everyone. There is nothing nicer then being reminded that someone you love watching has visited your town whether it be via the items they traded you or just Islanders remembering them.
As I said above there is so much to do and the biggest improvement fro the other games is the Museum.
It is SO BEAUTIFUL and it is also the biggest “quest” for lack of a better word that you’ll have. You need to be donating those insects, fish and fossils to fill in the exhibits but unlike other games the power of the Switch allowed them to create giant rooms with some beautiful exhibits that you can get lost visiting.
I love sitting for ages just chilling in the Butterfly room in the Insect area and there are plenty of tanks that I adore more then anything else in the Aquarium area.
Not only that but it makes you log in at various different times and will keep you busy for at least the entire year. Fish and insects come out at various different times and different seasons, I’ve got most that I can get right now and it’ll be a month or so until I can add much more on. There is a entire tank that I have no idea what will go into it and I still haven’t got a Coelacanth because I haven’t had rain in my game personally yet!
Not only that but there are a bunch of secrets that I had no idea about even though I’ve played New Leaf and probably some of the other ones before that.
Every night as long as your skies are clear you have a chance for shooting stars which leave star fragments the next morning on your beach, these fragments can be used to create things not least the wands that give you the Magical Girl abilities to change clothes randomly. See a glowing spot on the floor? Make sure to plant 10,000 bells in that hole and you’ll have yourself a money tree!
Also there are a bunch of different things you might never have imagined.
Random different rare fish show up in different places, characters will lose stuff that you need to return or ask for different fish or bugs that they are trying to catch.
New Horizons brings in crafting for the first time and you can find different recipes either through talking to a Islander who is crafting in their home, buying them from the Nooks, being gifted them randomly or via balloons or even being washed up on the beach in a bottle. This gives you the ability to customize various items that you have to create for yourself.
New Horizons has given us something to smile about in a time where it is hard to find too much to be happy with. COVID-19 has managed to bring the world to a halt but people have found a way to continue to be social and keep themselves smiling with a simple little game that has no difficulty level, no real end game and that just asks you to chill and have fun.
People are jumping on it to fill in gaps in their life whether making art shows for people to visit, making parties for those who can no longer celebrate their life in the real world with their friends or just hanging with people they miss.
The photo feature gives you the ability to create Animal Crossing Insta ready photos with filters and borders of all kinds and the Island gives you plenty of chances to make beautiful memories to share with the world. Every photo in this blog is from my own Island which you can decorate inside and out.
Creative types are creating new patterns to either wear or just meme up your Island, the Mystery Island tours let you visit random empty Islands to get resources and make money there is just so much for you to do that it is hard to even explain.
So if you are stuck indoors and can afford it and have a Switch it is 100% worth getting to take your mind off of the Lockdown.
It truly makes these times so much better.